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Cigar aficionados from all over the world competed at the 20th Habanos Festival Cigar aficionados from all over the world competed at the 20th Habanos Festival

Cyprus Defeats Cuba at World Cigar Championship

Cyprus beat Cuba in the finals of the Habanos World Challenge cigar competition that took place in Havana, Cuba on March 02.

Cyprus’ national team featured Alexis Tsielepis, managing director, Chelco VAT and Raffi der Garabedian.

After an intense battle that involved agricultural, industrial phases, practical and demonstrative issues of Habanos cigars, a blindfolded tasting, pairing cigars to fitting beverages, a written test and much more, the Cypriot duo managed to impress judges and spectators with their knowledge and passion for Cuban cigars.

“We could not believe it,” said Tsielepis. “Cyprus’ flag waiving in first place at a cigar competition in Cuba, it was amazing. The entire week I was there, I never left my room. I was studying and honing my skills. When they announced that the island of Cyprus won, it was a very emotional moment for all,” enthused Tsielepis.

The award ceremony took place in the presence of Stelios Georgiades, Chargé d’Affaires of Cyprus, Havana, Cuba and Walid Saleh, director, Phoenicia Cyprus, the world’s largest distributor of Cuban cigars.